For those who are not in the frontlines but are still employed, working from home has become a new reality.

For tertiary students, classes are now happening virtually and exams will likely also be online. Others have the fortune (given that job loses have been abundant) to be working and studying - doing both from home. Keeping a steady balance and focus for studying can be tricky but increasingly so during a lockdown period. 

Maintaining focus while studying is vital, more so that mid-year exams are approaching. Whether you are living with family, a partner or alone, there are ways to help maximise your focus.

READ MORE: 7 ways to build your brand while in lockdown 

Here are key ways to put on your proverbial blinkers and optimise your study period:

1 - Get your study equipment ready in one place

To avoid spending precious time on looking for stationary, a charger or headphones in between your periods of focus, it may be better to have everything you will need in your designated study area ahead of time. This way you reduce the chance of distraction and actually spend the time you have allocated for studying learning.

2 - Keep in contact with teachers, tutors and classmates

Whether it’s through email, group chats or phone calls – keeping in touch can help with support and maintaining a sense of community.

ADvTECH head of academics, John Luis, says maintaining regular contact with learners, staff and parents ensures that they are aware of, and able to help them address issues arising during this time.

READ MORE: How to get the benefits from unplugging from social media when your job requires you to be connected all the time 

3 - Remove distractions

Identify potential distractions in your surroundings and neutralise them if they are in your control. If your phone beeps with notifications, disable your notification while you’re studying and during assessments. If you can, it might help to put your phone away, out of sight.

Decluttering workspaces and organising your folders on your computer so your study material is easy to find may benefit your study process.

As part of limiting and managing disruptions and interruptions, Professor Renata Schoeman from the University of Stellenbosch Business School says, set down clear boundaries for family and friends. You also need to establish a routine.

4 - Ahead of an assessment or exam, test out best internet connection spots

If you are doing an online assessment or exam, scope your home for an area with the best possible internet connection. Do a speed test at speedtest.net or through your service provider to check your internet performance.

If your internet is slow, try to mitigate the burden with the following:

  • Decrease your video resolution on video-sharing websites
  • Use browser versions of your apps
  • Only connect essential devices to the Wi-Fi
  • If you are using cellular data, turn off background data usage for apps you aren’t using

READ MORE: Why not continue primping and dressing up when you're working from home and social distancing?

5 - Moderate your screen time

During your breaks make sure to factor in being away from screens, including your laptop, cellphone and TV screen. Experts in this YOU Magazine article suggests the following:

  • Don’t stare at any screen for longer than 20 minutes, try to remember to look away every now and again
  • Position your screen about 40cm from your face
  • Adjust the brightness of your phone screen, the blue light emitted from smartphones can be detrimental to our eyesight as well as your quality of sleep.

How are you coping with your studies during this lockdown? Chat to us here.

SOURCES: YOU Magazine, Jig Saw, Meropa

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